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Topic: Does October half term make a difference to park attendance?

  1. #1

    Default Does October half term make a difference to park attendance?

    We're thinking, well more than thinking, about a trip to Florida in October 2020. The current plan is 3 or 4 days onsite at Universal, around 10 days in Anna Maria Island and then the last week or so at Disney, but it's so far away there's plenty of time to change the plan.

    If we do that it means that our Disney week will coincide with October half term week. I don't know whether there are enough UK visitors for that to make a difference to park attendance, or if the US has holidays at a similar time, but another consideration is that the flights back home might be busy / pricy if it's half term. Does anybody know whether this week is usually busier, or does it not make a difference?

    We don't have children, so are not strictly tied to that week but as it's a bit tricky to move it forwards or backwards we'd prefer to go then if it's not too hideous. It's years since we have been (January 2016) and it was 2011 the last time we went near that time of year (November) so I don't really know what to expect.

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  2. #2
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    Which weeks in October will you be here?

    Half-term does make a small difference in crowds in Orlando, but it's a wonderful month for a visit (May and October are my two favs). One thing I might suggest is to flip your Disney and Anna Maria Island plans, and do the theme parks first, then have a complete chill-out afterwards, which will really feel like a true holiday break. Not absolutely necessary, but it might be difficult going from total chill-out to the manic pace of the parks, not to mention having Disney sort of 'hanging over your heads' while you're in Anna Maria Island. Will you feel like you're always anticipating Disney, or would you be able to let it go completely while you're relaxing? I'd be thinking about it the whole time and not really present for the beach experience, but that may just be me.

    Not sure how much wiggle room you have with dates, but the closer you get to Halloween the more crowds you'll see in the parks and the more likely Magic Kingdom and the Universal parks will have earlier closings for Mickey's Not So Scary and Halloween Horror Nights. Right now, Oct 14, 15 and 16 don't have a HHN event, and MNSSHP is every-other day during the week, plus every Fri & Sat.











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    We haven’t traveled in October so I can offer an opinion on how likely it is to be busy but it is worth remembering that October half term varies. We live on the border of 2 authorities who often have different weeks. If possible I think I’d be looking at Susan’s idea of moving your relaxing week to the end of your holiday it sounds like a great trip

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    We've been February, March, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December over the years and we have never experienced a quiet quiet time, the parks seem to be busy or very busy most of the time and with Halloween Horror nights in October we found October to be quite a busy time. Increasingly the parks seem to be getting more busy year round and i think it will only get worse. We're heading over for 18 days next year in July and know it is going to be hot and very busy which is why we're doing the 18 days so we can spread the time out between parks and pool.

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    Only been once in an October and that was the first three weeks, can't say I noticed big crowds. But we were visited by hurricane Matthew!! which may have contributed to the lower crowds.
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    Superspur's comment about busy times is a good one. There are no true 'slow' times in Orlando any more, though there most certainly are times that are BUSY busy, and times that are moderately busy. October is moderately busy. January and Feb (and, to some degree, September) are slower-busy.











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    I would agree with Superspur, been a couple of times in October. Obviously it’s much quieter than our usual time at Xmas but it’s by no means quiet. Indeed the scale at Disney tends to be from VERY BUSY to FOUR HOUR Queue most years now. Part of the reason is that even if it is quiet they tend to run less vehicles on some rides, whilst the likes of Frozen, live in a World of perpetual queues. However, I have found over the years that a little planning goes a long way.
    As Susan said its a great time to go with all the different things on.
    I note that MNSSHP starts mid August now so it’s only just over 3 months till Halloween!

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    For years, October was our favourite time to visit, both for the (then) lower crowds and our love of the International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot (which originally was pretty much limited to that month). Once we became child-free, our preference shifted to the first two weeks in November. For starters, there's definitely a significant spike in flight prices across the half-term period (and the fact that those dates are now spread more widely just means that the price hike is spread over more weeks, too). Going at the start of November avoids the busy time surrounding Thanksgiving and you have the bonus of the start of all the Christmas celebrations. We also quite like January (avoiding the first-week New Year revellers and the RunDisney crowds) but the weather is warmer in November. In fact, in November last year it was too hot for us! We also found the crowds significantly higher than in May the previous year, so that is currently our favoured option. Epcot is beautiful during the Flower & Garden Festival and that now also offers food booths, albeit on a smaller scale than the IF&WF.

    Needless to say, there will always be more UK visitors during our school holiday periods, but given the relatively small percentage of total visitors we make up, there are far more significant factors affecting crowd levels at any given time. Our reason for avoiding them is flight prices.
    Last edited by UK Deb; 30-04-2019 at 06:28 AM.

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    Thank you all for your answers and suggestions. They're much appreciated.

    I think trying to time Disney with November, or at least after Halloween might be good. 3 weeks in November is probably our preferred option, but it clashes with my parents going to Florida, which causes a whole heap of problems back at home. I hasten to add that it's not because I'm trying to avoid them We may be able to manage overlapping for a week though, so that might work, depending upon when Run Disney is. I know this year it's the first weekend in November and actually that's something I'd quite like to do, but maybe not after 2 weeks of being on holiday!

    November is probably our favourite time weather wise.

    Once again, thanks for all your help. Now I've thought of another question to ask so I'm off to search for the right place to post it.

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    we have only visited start of October i cant remember it being any worse then for numbers it can really vary from week to week depending on USA holidays
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